WATPA: FW: Reuters - "Census Shows High Internet Presence"

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From: Norman J. Jacknis (norm@jacknis.com)
Date: Thu Sep 06 2001 - 22:16:25 EDT

Interesting statistics -- and higher here in Westchester.


From: Urban Technology & Telecommunications

SEP 06, 2001
Census Shows High Internet Presence

WASHINGTON (AP) -- America is seeing a dramatic
increase in the number of homes wired to the Internet,
Census figures show, as the demand grows for quicker
communication -- from shopping to e-mail to instant

About 42 percent of all U.S. households could log on
to the Web in 2000, up from 18 percent three years
earlier, according to the Census Bureau report
released Thursday.

People shop, check stock quotes and do research
online. But it is the desire for fast communication
that have made Internet access a ``must-have'' item
for many people, said Susannah Fox, research director
for the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

``E-mailing and instant messaging ... have been woven
into Americans' social lives,'' said Fox, whose group
tracks Internet usage and habits.

Nearly one-third of all adults 18 and older and
one-fifth of all kids 3 to 17 use e-mail, the census
survey found.

More children than ever before are growing up in homes
with computers, the census report said. Nearly
two-thirds of all kids between ages 3 and 17 lived in
homes with computers, and nearly one-third of kids in
that age range have gone online.

``Having a computer is no longer an oddity,'' said
bureau analyst Eric Newburger.

Over half of the country's 105 million households had
computers, the first time that percentage has been
over 50 percent since the bureau started keeping track
of such figures in 1984. Computers were in 8 percent
of households that year.

Gaps still existed among different socioeconomic
groups. Older Americans and families with smaller
incomes were less likely to have computers.

Among children, however, discrepancies were erased by
the availability of computers in most schools. Nearly
90 percent of all school-age kids -- age 6 to 17 --
had access to computers either at home or at school.

Many school districts are going further. At River Hill
High School in Clarksville, Md., some ninth-graders
were given handheld devices to use for schoolwork on a
test basis.

Teachers use the devices to solicit responses from
everyone in a classroom during discussion, instead of
only the familiar few who raise their hands, River
Hill principal Scott Pfeifer said.

``When every kid has access to a device and it is
portable like this, then there is this every-pupil
response that occurs,'' he said. ``Then it truly
become a tool that every kid has to learn.''

Among those with Internet access at home, 73 percent
of kids age 3 to 17, and 88 percent of adults 18 and
older, used it for e-mail.

Among children, the next most popular use was for
school research (68 percent), followed by more generic
information searches (33 percent) and news, weather or
sports (20 percent).

Among adults, 64 percent used the Internet for
information searches, and 53 percent to get news,
weather or sports updates. Forty percent used it to
shop or pay bills.

According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the
average retail price for a personal computer today is
about $950, down from $1,450 in 1997.

The census figures are from a survey taken in August
2000 separate from last year's head count. The bureau
began tracking households with computers in 1984, and
started tracking Internet usage in 1997.

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